Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.
ABOUT THE BOOK
For fans of Luster and I May Destroy You, a disarmingly honest, unapologetically black, and undeniably witty debut novel that will speak to those who have gone looking for love and found something very different in its place. Queenie Jenkins is a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her. With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.
This discussion guide is shared and sponsored in partnership with Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What were your first impressions of Queenie? Did you like her? Were you surprised to hear the story behind Queenie’s name? How does hearing the story from Sylvie affect Queenie? Do you think that Sylvie chose a fitting name for Queenie? Explain your answer.
Queenie tells Tom, “Well, your family; it’s what a family should be.” (p. 293) Discuss her statement. What is it about Tom’s family that Queenie finds so appealing? Compare her family to Tom’s. Did you find Queenie’s family to be supportive? Why or why not?
Describe the structure of Queenie. What’s the effect of the shifting time frame? How do the flashbacks help you better understand Queenie and her relationship with Tom? Do the texts and emails that are included also help you better understand what Queenie is thinking? If so, how?
"Black and brilliant all on its own." –Essence
"They say Queenie is Black Bridget Jones meets Americanah. But she stands in her own right—nothing can and will compare." –Black Girls Book Club
“Equal parts millennial comedy and treatise on modern race relations, and a work of fiction that leaps from the page as all truth, no filler.” –Sam Sanders, host of It's Been a Minute
"Candice Carty-William represents Black Girl Magic to the fullest." –BET